Latham: Time Not Right for U.S. Senate Bid

By James Lynch, Reporter

U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, 3rd district,, left, and U.S. Rep.Tom Latham, R-Iowa, 4th district, answer questions from moderator Dean Borg of the Iowa Press during a debate in the Arts Center at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Thursday evening, Oct. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/The Omaha World-Herald, Rebecca S. Gratz)�

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By Ellen Kurt

DES MOINES, Iowa – U.S. Rep. Tom Latham won’t seek the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Sen. Tom Harkin, who has announced his retirement.

Although the Senate is appealing, Latham, a Clive Republican, said he “cannot in good conscience launch a two-year statewide campaign that will detract from the commitment I made to the people who elected me.”

Latham, who represents Iowa’s 3rd District, announced his decision in an email Feb. 27.

After Harkin announced he will not seek re-election in 2014, Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley of Waterloo announced his candidacy. Braley is in his fourth-term representing Iowa’s 1st District, which now covers most of northeast Iowa.

Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King of Kiron is said to be considering a Senate campaign.

In the email, Latham thanked Iowans for their support for him entering the Senate race.

“I cannot tell you how much I appreciated the calls, conversations, emails and notes,” Latham wrote. “I feel truly blessed and humbled to represent in Congress the greatest state and people.”

Although the opportunity to serve Iowa in the U.S. Senate “is appealing to this farm kid who grew up here, raised a family here, and helped grow a family business in Iowa,” Latham said he couldn’t in good conscious step away from his House responsibility “at a time when our nation desperately needs less campaigning and more leadership.”

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